BEIJING - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday denounced the "chilling effect" of Internet hacking on US businesses as he wrapped up two days of high-level talks with Chinese officials.
"Instances of cyber theft have harmed our business and threatened our nation's competitiveness," Kerry warned sternly in a joint closing session with his Chinese counterparts.
"The loss of intellectual property through cyber (spying) has a chilling effect on innovation and investment," he added, speaking after Washington indicted five Chinese military officers in May for hacking into US companies.
The issue was among many disputes and challenges discussed by the world's two leading economic powers during the sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
China insists that it too is a victim of hacking, and accuses Washington of hypocrisy since it conducts sweeping surveillance around the world.
Leaks by former government contractor Edward Snowden have alleged widespread US snooping in China.
State Councillor Yang Jiechi said cybersecurity was a "common threat and challenge facing all countries".
"Cyberspace should not become a tool for damaging the interests of other countries," Yang warned.
Despite pleas from the US side, Beijing did not agree to resume a cybersecurity working group which it suspended after the unprecedented indictments.
Kerry also said the two sides had agreed "on the importance and urgency of achieving a denuclearised, stable and prosperous Korean peninsula".
They had discussed "specific ways" to ensure North Korea complies with its obligations, Kerry said, without giving details.